SweetLeigh

A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.


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Basic Black#ThriftyThursday

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So it’s been ages since I did a Thrifty Thursday but was inspired upon seeing Confession of a Fashiontista ‘s Sheri’s latest blog post. She runs  Refashion Nation and organizes weekly themes to inspire folx to show off their thrifted and refashioned treasures! I actually found my treasure yesterday! These men’s Brogues fit perfectly are nicely broken in and have many more years in them. I am psyched to have found a new comfy and stylish pair of Black shoes suitable for both work and play.

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The other gem of this post is my second refashioned shirt dress. The first is a denim number you can find here! I live in that dress have nearly worn it out already. This time around I finally used an old bedsheet in a refashion. It was gifted to me in a huge bag of fabric I inherited. I used it to create a skirt to add to a button up shirt that I wasn’t wearing. I love my boxy new shirt dress which is as Basic as it gets! And I definitely need to grow the basics in my closet. Below is a couple of visual maps on how I did the refashion. It is fairly self-explanatory.

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And there you have it. A basic number that I can wear to work, or out for the weekend with my docs or peep toes or sandals… this is L.A.! I’m not mad at this little black day dress which will be hard at work for me for a long time to come.

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xoxo,

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ReFashion 2016: Black Is Beautiful

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The Story

Black History Month aka Black Future Month ends with my little tribute to The Black Panthers and a simple and very satisfying refashion! If you follow my Instagram, you will see that when PBS aired the documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution I was fairly obsessed. I was raised in a working class all-white neighborhood in the burbs of Los Angeles in the late 1970s.

I learned respectability politics young from my southern mother and my father, an immigrant from the West Indies. For their survival and mine, I was taught it was important that as a Black person I was extra nice, extra likable, and that much more respectable than my white counterparts. It was as if because I was Black, I didn’t automatically deserve respect. Leaving the white pov or white gaze behind is complicated in this country with our very racist history. Long before Beyonce’s Formation, there was the Black Panther Party. The Black Panthers celebrated Blackness, traded in respectability politics for justice, and all the while shone for being fierce in their own skin.

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At one point in the  documentary (where yes, I was driven to tears) the filmmakers interviewed former Panthers and journalists alike on the style of the BPP. The natural hair, the sleek stylish ‘uniform,’ and “swagger!” Whether you are interested in political ideology or not, there is so much fierceness in the message that BPP gave the Black community which was – love yourself, as you are. Their message was that Black was not only beautiful but worthy. Worthy of love, worthy of justice, worthy of self-determination. There is nothing complicated about that. If you have not seen the documentary yet, do!

 

Boot ReFit

The ReFashion

First of all, I love these boots so hard, they were a major investment piece I bought (on sale) about 8 years ago for my first return trip to NYC after moving home. They are made for all weather and are water resistant, have lug soles, working laces, and a zipper for easy access.  I LOVE these fabulous functional boots, but after gaining significant weight they didn’t fit anymore. My smallest calf size was probably about 19 inches and my widest calf is currently 23inches.  I often prefer ankle boots, but when I have gotten higher boots, I generally got away with having them stretched at a cobbler’s shop or have also had elastic inserts put into boots. Any shoe repair can also do this simple alteration for you.

  1. When I tried on the boot years after my last wearing, they  would not close.e
  2. Reasonable people take out their laces which I recommend, but I partially unlaced my boots enough to see what I was doing on the inside.
  3. My solution for making space across the calves? Detach the tongues of the boots! Because the tongue is sewn into both sides of the boot – it can not be placed where you want it on the leg for coverage. Sometimes it’s sewn into one side of the boot.
  4. Use scissors to cut open the seams where the tongue and lacing sides of the boot are attached.
  5. Once the tongue was freed up, I had about 2 extra inches in overlapping fabric on each side of the boot newly available.
  6. At this point, you want to dispose of any loose threads.
  7.  If you like you can add fabric to both sides of the tongue for more coverage. You can also elect to get rid of the tongue altogether for a cute tongueless boot.
  8. Finally, you will want to get longer laces to properly lace up your boots. I haven’t done this yet but am looking forward to it. Remember you can always switch up the color and/or use grosgrain or velvet ribbon instead of standard corded laces. Now lace up those puppies and go!

Dress: Thrifted  Hat: ReFashioned Leather Jacket: Built to Last
70s Vintage Wallpaper: Interwebs

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xoxo,

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Make & ReFashion 2016 Planner

I’m back! It’s taken me a couple of months to figure our what I wanted to tackle on my sewing projects list. Getting gifted three giant bags amounting to 70 lbs of fabric on top of a newly organized bigger stash, means finally getting organized! I have a couple of ReFashions from 2015 that never got done so they are on my 2016 list!

  • If you follow me on Instagram you may remember me disassembling some thrifted clogs! Well, it’s time to get those perfect platform walking height heels hooked up for Cali’s year round clog wearing weather! I’m So ready! I am going to make either a T-strap style or an Oxford style with a secure ankle strap. I’m not very good with slip on clogs, I tend to twist my ankle a lot!

Clog ReFashion Moodboard

  • I have been meditating on how to make my denim jacket more wearable for ages since I don’t wear it. And I’ve decided on a plan of action. Below center is where I’m at, but thinking about going marching band with it. Think Balmain meets fat adorable majorette! Instead of traditional trims, I’m thinking of using patchwork techniques with denim or velvet to create the banding. I am so into it – which is all that matters of course.

Denim ReFashion Inspo 2016

  • I never even started my Velvet number that was calling me so hard! I have two deconstructed thrift-shop-scored blue velvet dresses that demand action. I thought I’d do a simple slip dress and see if I had enough for a jacket too, but now I am thinking of a simple shape like some of the ideas below. And I’m definitely interested in embellishing the velvet! See Adornment Inspo board further down, please!

Velvet ReFashion Inspo 2016

  • The last project that I haven’t gotten to are sweaters! I am freezing half of the time. AS long as I have been alive, I have been underdressed. Even in lovely Los Angeles, it gets cold and often it will get hot and even when it’s perfectly in between the temperature always drops at night so I will always need to be layer ready. These sweaters inspire me BEYOND to get to sewing. Luckily I scored a new light lovely knit in my recent gifted haul and have a couple of really nice knits as well as a couple of heavy Ponte fabrics to tackle projects. I also have a lovely three-tone looped yarn I hope to use as fringe in at least one project.

Sweater ReFashion - Make 2016

  • I went to an 80s Prom this month with my favorite dancing buddy Betty! I think that warrants its own post – and it just got me on a major nostalgia trip! The 1980s was an odd and unique period that somehow managed to reference, the 50s, a new era of Japanese modernist design, a NeoVictorian thing coexisting with a retro-futurism of sorts. I really need to make a prairie shirt, not to mention some asymmetrical cuts in neutrals. I have some splatter paint style cotton with a bit of lycra, some geometrics and a fab piece of grunge-worthy yellow plaid that needs to be used for the love of the 80s.

80s ReFashion - Make 2016

  • I have some lovely chiffon and polyester blend sheer prints that need to become fabulous timeless maxis! I love how simple color blocking becomes art in prints and lace. I am also really feeling my inner Stevie Nicks these days. Easy witchy high style moments in the making.

Print - Colorblocking ReFashion Inspo

  • And of course, and probably most importantly, the BASIX I didn’t quite master last year! I have some vintage leather, recycled denim and a ton of light-weight two way stretch knit blends that need to become easy tunics/dresses, skorts, culottes and drapey tops. Sounds like the Drape Drape books are coming out of storage! It’s time to get the basics down and that for me means easy, comfy, sultry everyday wear.

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  • Lastly, I am obsessed with fabulous artisanal embellishments. I am first and foremost a textile addict after all. Everything from screen printing and hand painting to beading and embroidery is calling me. I think some artistic adorning will be on the immediate horizon! My leather jacket, in particular, keeps telling me they want a makeover. I am here to serve.

Adornment ReFashion Inspo -Make 2016

 Here we go!

xoxo,

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ReFashion2015: Minimal Glam

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So I debuted this number last week in a post in homage to Halloween. Although it was the center of my Afrofuturistic Cleopatra I knew it could be an easy and fun option for holiday gatherings that bring folx together around this time of year.

Make Sequins Dress

The quick and dirty on this sweet little number was pretty simple. Although the dress is more of a Make then a typical ReFashion, it was made from thrifted fabric and the styling elements are either thrifted/resale, refashioned, or investment pieces. I pulled out some seriously neglected shoes and styled it up.

Holliday look 1

The first look features some very fab Jelly shoes in a glossy black, I ‘ve had them for years and they always come out when I want to be comfortable and a little saucy. You might remember the lace crop top I made for my Halloween costume last year. The Sweater Coat is one of my favorite staples that I have made. Whenever I want to style something up I throw on this sweater coat to add a little texture and pattern.

It’s made from a medium weight knit fabric and lining both from Michael Levine Loft. The Leather on the cap sleeves are recycled from a leather skirt most of which I’ve used for SweetLeigh Millinery.

Holliday Look 2

This outfit is as simple as it gets. I added a handmade slip that was part of my Mermaid costume a few years back. I removed the crinoline and tulle fishtail I had attached to the bottom. The slip worked great to provide a comfort zone around my deep V neckline on the dress. I simply added some silver platforms from New Look. And lastly I love this little knit metallic thread jacket that I found at a thrift shop when I lived in Brooklyn, almost 10 years ago! Wow that’s a long time…

Holliday Look 3

This look might actually be my favorite for its ABSOLUTE comfort factor. Turning my deep V dress into a romper I slipped an oversized white shirt underneath topped it off with my leather jacket and kept it casual with my creepers. I scored those babies at a Domino Dollhouse closet sale. Wicked happy day! And here I am feeling pretty holiday ready! Not to mention just enough glam.

Holliday Minimal Glam - Yes please

I tend to under accessorize the main accessory generally being lipstick, hence my “minimal glam.” I have only been wearing my gemstone rings for their powers. But, I think a great evening friendly bag is on my list of makes! Back soon with more ReFashions.

xoxo,

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Blogger + LOVE = Mode Plus

Style is Sizeless. If you are reading this blog, you already know that! So I’m here to share some bloggers who should definitely be known far and wide! To cool engaging bloggers of all sizes who are new to me and amazing. Comment with your great blogger finds below!

Nefferth Bernadina Collage

Mode-Plus is the home of Nefferth Bernadina A gorgeous Dutch national of Carribean descent. I adore her style and her blog. Along with Joi Smith she is part of an inspiring crew of over 30 Women Of Color (WoC) Plus size bloggers who are fabulous! Check them out under the hashtag #30PlusStyle –  after you have become completely obsessed with Nefferth.

A natural born stylist and creative, she advocates wearing your clothes as opposed to your clothes wearing you. Like my own soul sisters of #UntamedStyle, she uses her voice to talk about journeying through body image and self-love while celebrating her great style. 

xoxo

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Making Good

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In my last ReFashion2015 Post I told you about the “Making Good” Blog train! Well today is the day lovelies! This series is hosted by Agatha from Green Issues by Agy  .

The purpose of Making Good is to sit with valuing what we have and choosing to repair an item before discarding it.  As Judith of Juicy Green Momma put it so well “Some see repair as a way of reconnecting with our possessions as we extend their lives. Others see it as a form of creative potential and an avenue to express their craft.  Follow the“Making Good” blog train and see how we are repairing and reconnected with our belongings.

I have worn these shoes to death! I love them and felt very fortunate to find them at one of my favorite thrift stores. They were in great condition, but I have in fact worn them out a bit. Although they look good from the top on the sides they are cracking and the fabulous fine glitter surface was peeling in places!

Before cracking sequins finish

How toI got old school crafty with it and decided to Mod Podge it! It is always a fun project to stick some glitter on something, no matter how old you are. I have some gold Glitter but not nearly as fine as the original finish, but I decided that wasn’t a problem.

  • Supplies: Newspaper/rags Matte Mod Podge, Mod Podge Sealer Spray, A craft brush, A glass jar and Gold glitter!
  • I poured mod podge into the jar and then added the glitter
  • Next, I filled my shoes with the circulars to protect the inside
  • After that, I used the brush to start applying to problem areas
  • I allowed my shoes to dry in the sun and checked the coverage.
    During applications
  • I was pretty heavy handed with the glue and added more glitter on spots that needed more coverage like in the pics above.
  • After three applications I was happy with the coverage and used Mod Podge sealer to secure my new finish. Voila! The finished product!

After

The best part is I got even more shine! Finding these shoes made me so happy! Repairing them maybe even more so!  Keep following the train tomorrow with Joy of Xoxo Grandma and see what she’s been Making Good.

xoxo

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ReFashion 2015: Summer Wardrobe Capsule!

ReFashion 2015 continues! So My loves a project within a project. We are almost halfway into the year and this project! People, the time goes quickly! Two things!

11164613_943794012322038_6733002597590496421_oFirst I am part of a fabulous project called Making Good initiated by the amazing Agatha Lee of Green Issues By Agy Blog. I love her Fix it Friday’s which are dedicated to repairing clothing and non-clothing items instead of throwing them away. She has expanded it with the blog train #MakingGood for the month of May. I will be posting my contribution this week! But you can go to the blog and catch up on some amazing repairs from my fellow Blog Train mates now!

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Second! Today I am sharing my plans for my Summer Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration! Putting some thought into what I’ll be rocking this summer is an act of self-care and about simplifying for me! From how I look in certain items to how comfortable I am, Summer style has never been my forte. I just have never had enough easy hot weather pieces that I wanted to wear all of the time. A typical uniform for me consists of things that I just don’t have enough of in my closet! Since I do wear the same things week after week I decided to make and remake some summer staples that reflect what I AM wearing and my style. Here is a look into what is informing my Summer inspiration!

MixMatch Separates

First off, it is time to catch up on separates! I hardly have any! Mix and match separates are the groundwork for a great closet.

  • For one, I have a serious shortage of tops. So my plan is to transform some dresses I am not wearing into separates for that adorable matched set look as well as some into tops and/or skirts!
  • The big risk is shorts! I don’t dislike my legs – cellulite and all, but I do dislike chub-rub, fabric hiking up between my thighs and having to pull them down constantly. So I intend to find my perfect shorts pattern or style. I am determined to make some shorts this before the summer is done! Wish me luck!

Pinafore Inspo

I am in love with the Pinafore. I have always been a sucker for an apron, so an apron inspired dress makes sense for me. A pinafore style can immediately ring cute or hippie for some, but it can also get pretty edgy. I don’t mind any of the three actually.

  • I think it might be my ultimate solution to feeling comfortable rocking a crop top or even a tube top to wear it under a pinafore. We’ll see!
  • Pinafores are a great solution for refashioning skirts I am not wearing.
  • Pinafores also can range from overall styles to suspender skirt styles and is an instant fabulous detail for an outfit. #UGH LURVE!

Sack Dress Inspo

I have a dress I made not dissimilar to the blue dress on the bottom left. Every time I wear it I am complimented. EVERY Time. Chic and relaxed wins every time, adding funky jewelry, scarves, a jacket/blazer and your choice of ballet flats, sandals, high tops, lace up boots or booties personalizes this amazing staple.

  • A Sack or Shift dress works in any fabric and is pretty much season less
  • The solution for my love of tunics. Leggings transform the dress as do layers. LURVE!
  • It is a simple way to rock major color and pattern
  • I feel comfortable and stylin’ in a sack dress EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So my lovelies! There you have my plan for a FAB summer wardrobe capsule. Time to Make! Have you given any thought to your typical summer uniform? ❤

xoxo

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